The Catholics and the Hugonaughts

By SSG

 

There are many differences in the treatment of Irish Catholics by the English, and
the French treatment of Huguenots. The French revoked the edict of nathes, whereas the
English completely banned Catholicism. The Huguenots tended to be rich nobles,
allowing them to move out of France, whereas Irish Catholics where poor, and thus forced
to stay in Ireland. The French regarded Huguenots with some level of toleration, yet
even this did not exist in England. Overall, the situation is England was much harsher than
its French counterpart.

By revoking the edict of nathes, the stage was set for a future decline of the French
state. The edict protected the Huguenots, allowing them to remain in France, unharmed.
Revoking the edict led to a new age of harassment for the Huguenots, causing revolts
and emigration. This disunity weakened the state, contributing to its downfall. The
Gallican church had few strong allies, and this disunity was dangerous to a state such as
France.

In England, the penal code and the test act effectively banned Catholicism. The test
act required all office holders to take communion in the Anglican church. Catholics
considered this sacrilegious, and refuse to do so. The penal code was a set of laws aimed
at Catholics to prevent their economic and social success. By enforcing these laws, the
church of England caused Irish Catholics to fall into a dormant economic and social state.
While Huguenots and Irish Catholics where both discriminated against, there are
several major difference between them. The Irish Catholics where poor peasant farmers,
and where economically bound to the land they worked on. The Huguenots tended to be
rich noblemen, and use their money and influence to leave France, often settling in the
new world. This exodus caused economic strife for France, having lost much of its wealth
to emigration. Irish Catholics held little wealth and power, and therefore had little effect
on England.

The difference in the treatment of Irish Catholics and French Huguenots is readily
apparent. Yet the effect of this deplorable treatment varied. It led to the rise of English
power, and the decline of the French state.